Nancy Lieberman is that rare individual who has had both a successful playing and coaching career. And her career highlights are so many that this introduction is a long one! She grew up in Queens in New York, learning to play basketball on the courts of Harlem and then as a High School senior she represented the USA at the Olympics and won a silver medal.
From 1976 to 1980, she attended Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, and played on the team that won 2 National Championships. In 1980 she was selected with the first pick in the Women’s Pro Basketball League (WBL) draft by the Dallas Diamonds. Then in 1981, she played for the Los Angeles Lakers Mens Summer Pro League team under the future hall of famer Pat Riley. In 1986 she signed with the Springfield Fame of the men’s professional United States Basketball League. Later, she toured with the Washington Generals, who served as the regular opponent of the Harlem Globetrotters.
In the newly formed WNBA‘s inaugural year in 1997, she played for the Phoenix Mercury and At the age of 39, she was the WNBA’s oldest player. She transitioned in to coaching in 1998 as the Head Coach of the WNBA team the Detroit Shock. In 2009, she then became the coach of the Texas Legends in the NBA Development League, an affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks, thus becoming the first woman to coach a professional men’s basketball team. In 2015, she was hired by the Sacramento Kings as an assistant coach, becoming the second female assistant coach in NBA history. And then in 2018 she was hired as the Head Coach of the Power in the Big3 league and led the team to the championship in her first year.